Broda Muri and Ramadan Shenanigans

Ablution jug

“Muriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”

That was my father, he has a way of stretching names, mine was

“lanreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

perhaps he stretched everyone’s name to show the importance attached every time he needed anyone’s attention.

I grew up in a large family, quite a number of uncles and cousins, perhaps the fact that both my mother and father were their respective fathers’ first child dropped the responsibility at their doorstep. Most of the egbons however were Muslims, and interestingly they were all older than us- the actual children. Most neighbours who came in to the area at later periods didn’t know who our parents first child was, they just assumed, but they were mostly wrong, but it didn’t matter, our parent didn’t care, and most importantly, we didn’t have any special priviledge.

Broda Muri was one of such egbons who lived with us, and he was one of the two egbons I was really fond of, of course I was less than ten years old, the reasons were simple, he was generous, didn’t use to send me on errands, and he would never lay his hands on me like broda Muideen.

Muriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, ibo lo wa, se o n ka mi lohun ni”

That was how our father would call the second time, you wouldn’t want him to call the third time except you really had a good explanation. Those who let him call the third time without any explanation advised the rest of us to avoid it if we valued our lives.

Ramadan Kareem

In an attempt to avoid being sent on an errand, once he heard his name, he would rush to pick an ablution jug, start his ablution, then beckon me to tell our father what he was doing, it worked all the time, especially during Ramadan, our father would not want to do anything that would reduce his expected Ramadan blessings,.

But as the act continued, I began to notice a pattern. I realized his ablution served more than a purpose. I also discovered that whenever Broda Muri felt tired, he would pick his ablution jug, off to do ablution. I knew he was not really religious; I knew he had other plans

So I continued to monitor, but then on a closer look, I realized something else. He used more than a jug of water for his ablution, a rare act, also whatever water that went into his mouth didn’t come out, I was getting confused, was the water not supposed to rinse the mouth only and be spat out, was it for drinking? Broda Muri was smarter

So one day I decided to follow him, he had an ablution corner, a place where he would not be visible to people, so I hid, that was when I found out that egbon’s padded pockets actually had garri, and in some instances, kulikuli., and he only picked moments he was hungry to do his ablution.

But I was a kid, so I jumped out from hiding

“I have seen you, Broda Muri mo ti ri yin, I will tell daddy”

But he knew what that meant, he knew what would happen if I reported. So he stopped his fake ablution, started begging, argh, more bribery, well, it was worth it, not much was needed to bribe then besides, so we became a team, I watched while he had his man made ablution.

Sahur was another interesting period, I was my mummy’s boy so I would always wake with her to cook, she would cook, while I would provide gist, for me, the food was my guaranteed fourth meal. I also had a job, to wake everyone when the food was ready, but then I realized some would not wake up on time, at first I thought they were just sleeping, but since I became a team with broda Muri, he opened up further, so I would say i forgot to wake him up. That gave him an extra hour of sleep and pushed his food closer to the morning.

Ramadan period was also the only period in the year that our father would come home before 7pm, the other eleven months, 9pm was early, really early.

If you fasted, there were certain guarantees, a share of daddy’s fruits, tea to add to your pap and any other things he put on his tray, but the real winner every evening was whoever packed his food tray, I was too young for that job, but the fact that I was a kid gave me certain privileges, to walk in and get a small portion, a portion that was never enough. So Broda Muri and I formed a team, I would find a corner to hide and watch when daddy eat, once he was done eating, I would rush to Broda Muri to pack, time was of the essence as we were not the only ones watching. We won a lot of times, other times we lost, but the periods we won, we shared our proceeds

A few years down the line when broda Muri had become a serious Muslim, he saw one of my other cousins, my age mate- Sakiru doing almost same thing he did during ablution at a Ramadan period, he got angry and punished him

I stood there as I watched, I wanted to talk but then I remembered I was 10years oild already, old enough to be beaten by him, people had even started calling him an alfa, nobody would believe me, so I kept shut

And Sakiru, he was worse than Broda Muri, but that is another story

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About Me

My life’s journey is that of many parts, every day I try to bring all the parts to an agreement, but I am yet to succeed at that, or maybe I shouldn’t even be trying to do it, I really don’t know yet- but while at it, I try to find how each part makes me better, and how each part can make the society better

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